A backdoor in a cryptosystem or algorithm allows someone to obtain access to the decrypted data, without the need for the key/password that was used to encrypt the data.

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71
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3answers
22k views

Should we trust the NIST-recommended ECC parameters?

Recent articles in the media, based upon Snowden documents, have suggested that the NSA has actively tried to enable surveillance by embedding weaknesses in commercially-deployed technology -- ...
35
votes
6answers
13k views

Who uses Dual_EC_DRBG?

Recent news articles have suggested that the NSA may be involved in trying to influence the cryptography in public standards or commercially deployed software, to enable the NSA to decrypt the ...
29
votes
1answer
25k views

Explaining weakness of Dual EC DRBG to wider audience?

I have an audience of senior (non-technical) executives and senior technical people who are taking the backdoor in Dual_EC_DRBG and considering it as a weakness of Elliptic curves in general. I can ...
3
votes
1answer
380 views

Hide a weakness in ECC by choosing the prime or one of the curve coefficients

Suppose you are given a value $c$. Can you find a prime $p$ and an integer $b$ such that the elliptic curve $$E: y^2 \equiv x^3 -3x + b \pmod p$$ is cryptographically weak? You need to choose ...
7
votes
2answers
745 views

Is there a feasible method by which NIST ECC curves over prime fields could be intentionally rigged?

The NIST elliptic curves P-192, P-224, P-256, P-384, and P-521, prescribed in FIPS 186-4 appendix D.1.2, are generated according to a well defined process, but using an arbitrary random-looking seed ...
13
votes
4answers
624 views

Could one construct a cipher that is secure for friendly parties to use but insecure for hostile parties?

Consider the situation of a nation state (Blue) at war with another nation state (Red). Blue wants to deploy a secure cipher that blue currently can not break, but they are considered that Red could ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

Do test vectors ensure a cipher is free of backdoors?

If a cipher implementation passes unit tests using test vectors from some trusted source (these for AES, for example), then can we say that it is fully conforming to the specification, and must have ...